BusinessDesk & IPANZ Working in the Public Service Survey - OPEN FOR PARTICIPATION

Does New Zealand’s central government live up to its stated principles? How good is your experience at work as a public employee in NZ?

BusinessDesk and IPANZ are teaming up to conduct the ‘Working in the Public Service’ survey to better understand working in NZ’s central government today. 

If you work for an organisation that falls within the categories listed below, then we'd love you to complete the survey:

  • Public Service departments
  • Non-Public Service departments
  • Crown agents
  • Departmental agencies
  • Interdepartmental executive boards
  • Offices of Parliament

Here is your link to the survey.  

We plan to repeat this survey in future years for insight into the public sector over time.

The results will be published through BusinessDesk, outside its paywall so the information is available to both subscribers and non-subscribers. IPANZ will also publish the key findings in the Public Sector journal. Selected academic researchers will have access to anonymised data for further analysis and research.

What is the survey about?

This survey will provide an independent picture of working in central government, supplying data about how public service principles are put into practice and aspects of the workplace.

We plan to repeat the research in future years in order to reveal trends over time.

What is the origin of this survey?

The survey is part of BusinessDesk’s public sector project, which was established with taxpayer support from NZ on Air’s Public Interest Journalism Fund. 

BusinessDesk’s key partner is the Institute of Public Administration NZ (IPANZ), the professional organisation for public service employees. IPANZ has helped ensure the relevance and value of the research.

Much of the survey builds on previous research that IPANZ and BusinessDesk believe is valuable to update. This includes studies by university researchers Dr Chris Eichbaum (Victoria University of Wellington) and Professor Richard Shaw (Massey University).

The survey questions also include issues that have arisen during BusinessDesk’s research for its news coverage of the NZ public sector.

How will the survey data be used?

The results will be:

  • Publicised through BusinessDesk, outside its paywall so that the results are available to both subscribers and non-subscribers.
  • Written up in the Public Sector journal, which is available to IPANZ members and also non-members via the IPANZ website.
  • Available to select academic researchers, who will have access to the anonymised data for further analysis.

Who is involved?

The survey is led by BusinessDesk, a New Zealand news agency, partnering with the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand (IPANZ).

Our research partner is Perceptive, a New Zealand firm with long experience in such surveys. Perceptive is bound by the industry’s code of practice and is conducting the survey accordingly.

Who will be asked to do the survey?

The survey will be sent directly to central government employees who are on the BusinessDesk and IPANZ databases. This includes people working in the following types of agency:

  • Public Service departments
  • Non-Public Service departments
  • Crown agents
  • Departmental agencies
  • Interdepartmental executive boards
  • Offices of Parliament.

Respondents are encouraged to invite their colleagues in such agencies to participate. A high response rate will enhance the statistical validity of the research.

How did you choose agencies to include in the survey?

The survey is aimed at organisations that can be thought of as core central government organisations. These are the public service, agencies in the legislative branch, as well as NZ Police, NZ Defence Force and PCO – i.e. those in the upper left of this diagram.

We are calling the survey ‘Working in the Public Service’ as an easy-to-understand title. Though not everyone who responds will technically be a public servant, the concepts covered in our survey apply to all respondents.

Will respondents’ privacy be protected?

Yes. This is required by the Privacy Act and the research industry’s code of practice, and is also consistent with the values of BusinessDesk and IPANZ.

All data will be held securely and be anonymised. No individual person or agency will be identified in our publication of survey results. The focus is the public service, not individual agencies.

Academic researchers will have access to the anonymised dataset with privacy fully protected.

Is this project related to previous surveys such as Te Kawa Mataaho Public Service Commission’s 2021 ‘census’?

This survey is independent of previous surveys. However, some of our research questions are based on previous work by academic researchers and agencies like Statistics NZ and the former State Services Commission, in order to draw comparisons over time.